Patient Verification

Patient Mix-Up Scenario: You are the administrator in a group family practice for 6 participating physicians. At this practice, all patients share a waiting room, regardless of which physician they are seeing. When an exam room is ready, the patients are called by first name to go to their assigned exam room to be seen by their PCP.  Today has been a very busy day with a full schedule for all physicians in the practice. The third patient of the day is Ted Jones, Jr.  Ted’s PCP is Dr. Williams, and his Father, who is Ted Jones, Sr. usually sees Dr. Morrison.  Unknown to Ted and the staff, Ted Jr is placed in an exam room for his father’s Physician, Dr. Morrison instead of Dr. Williams.  After twenty minutes of waiting, Dr. Morrison walks into the room and both Ted and the physician realize that a mistake has been made.  Because of the full schedule, Ted Jr has to wait another thirty minutes to see his correct physician (Dr. Williams) and he is very irate when he leaves. Later that same day, Karen Smith is registered to see Dr. Cole.  While she is in the restroom, the medical assistant calls for “Karen”, intending for Karen Smith.   Karen Maxwell, a new patient of Dr. Cole, gets up and goes in for her first visit. The medical assistant and Karen Maxwell walk back into the exam room.  The medical assistant begins updating Karen’s chart by asking her questions about her health history, such as current diagnoses, past medical history, and family medical history.  When they start discussing medication history, the medical assistant asks Karen Maxwell about her response to the new medication she was prescribed at her last visit. At this moment, both the medical assistant and Karen Maxwell realize that the wrong Karen was taken back to the exam room. As administrator,  you have been called in to investigate these mix-ups and provide recommendation for quality improvement, process improvements, and protection of patient privacy. With your recommendation, it has been indicated that the practice should implement a patient verification policy to prevent these types of errors in the future. What criteria would you include in the policy at the registration and in the examination room?  Provide a 150-300 (or more) recommendation on appropriate verification policy and procedure. Provide examples of federal or state laws, if applicable. Cite your sources! This recommendation should be professionally written as it would in a formal policy or procedure.  This should be written objectively and not in the first person.   Do not include statements such as “I would…..”   or “They should…

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